Sunday, May 31, 2009

Over the last few months when I was sorting through my scraps I cut all the pink, purple and green bits into 3 1/2" by 6 1/2" bricks and stacked them in their own box. I made 3 1/2" four patches from the very darkest purple scraps and put them in the box as I finished them, and when it was full I set them all together into this Bricks and Stepping Stones quilt from Bonnie's site. It seemed to take only hours to do, because I'd done so much preparation beforehand, and there's very little agonising over this setting. As long as the same fabrics aren't touching each other and the darker bricks are distributed evenly throughout, it goes together in a flash.

Here's a photo of a top that our friend Bev whipped up. This is a sort of crumb log cabin, all different size strips and snippets of fabric, so there's a wonderful collection of bits here.
Bev has made lots of eyespy quilts, and there are fascinating glimpses of cows and dolphins and rockets and who knows what else. Some lucky child will find it intriguing.
Bev is my first fully fledged convert to scrap hoarding. One of her friends in Moonta used to save up her 'rubbish' and pass it to Bev, who passed it to me. Gradually she started pinching bits out to use herself and began crumb piecing blocks; then realised just how many quilts could be made with what other people discard.

Keryn says this has backfired on me because I don't get a look in now- Bev keeps all the friends scraps for herself! I don't care, it's so nice to have an accomplice who understands our obsession with the little bits and it's great seeing what she comes up with. Don't you love the pieced setting triangles on this top? Scrappy all the way.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I surprised myself the other day when we went for our hike, which Keryn wrote about here. I hurt my back three years ago and I've gradually recovered so that walking is fine, but I didn't think I could climb hills anymore. I'm not saying that I managed this walk easily, and Keryn and Matt could literally run rings around me, but I did finish the round trip. I had threatened that they might have to get the rescue helicopter out at one stage, and my back complained the next day, but I pulled up okay.

The puppies loved it, how such tiny things could gamboll along for kilometres is beyond me, but apart from flopping down at every pause they showed no signs of flagging.

We found two leprous looking little huts in a grove of trees, I have no idea what they were for. Too small for accomodation surely, old time dunnies perhaps?

Whatever their use, Eric Lawson left his name in 1915; I love this early graffiti, and his writing is very nice despite being scratched into plaster.

Everyone was hot and bothered and thirsty when we got back to the house, and a drink was in order. Nice to share with the family.....


Don't you just hate it when your Dad does that?


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

When I was going through the 2" strip drawer, I pulled out anything that was less than the eight and a half inches I needed , and added all the bits leftover from cutting the strips down. From these I cut 4 and a quarter inch rectangles and 2" squares until they were all gone. (I cut the rectangles slightly larger than needed to allow for squaring up the ends and miscuts. )
Here are all my dark and medium bits paired up ready to sew.Don't I look excessively neat? I must admit I love arranging a stack of pieces like this, but unfortuneately there's no other area of my sewing room that displays this kind of order.

Stacking and spreading and bits on the floor, sigh. Just as well you lot can't see it.

I ironed the pieces, then cut the rectangles into 2" slices, rotated them and made 4 patch blocks. The squares I sewed into random 4 patches too, and made this pile.

I had thought of using them as the centre of these Puss in the Corner blocks, which would also use up the light strips from the drawer.

But they also looked nice set together as a postage stamp..
and how about the rail fence blocks as a border...?

Or as a piano key border...?
I like to play around with ideas like this, and the digital camera is great because you can record all the variations.I'm putting these in a project drawer until I can have a think about what I'm doing,but it was fun getting the bits to this stage. Much better to have a pile of blocks to play with than the full to bursting strip drawer.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

My drawer of 2" strips was bugging me because it was too full and was getting hard to shut. So I weeded through them and made this pile to turn into....hmm, something.

I limited myself to using the medium and dark strips, as they were the most plentiful. I lined them up roughly and chopped them into 8 1/2" lengths. That went pretty quickly, it's nice not having to be accurate for a change.

Some people might just sew the long strips together, but I loathe sewing 42" seams, and by cutting the pieces roughly to size I could have a greater variety as I paired up the fabrics.
I sewed them into pairs, grabbing whatever came to hand,

then sewed the pairs together to make a set of four strips.

I divided the sets into two piles and added a dark strip to one lot, and a medium strip to the other, making five strips all together.

Then I squared them up to eight inches
and had enough to make a small lap rug. Perhaps.....I'll show some other ideas for them in another post. The main thing is, I can shut the 2" strip drawer now!

And Keryn was remarking on her blog that Dolly considers herself a lap dog- I wonder why? When Keryn comes around to watch telly at my place and work on her crochet, Dolly is there at the chair, standing on her hind legs and begging to come up. She lies on the wool, squeezes Keryn over to one side of the chair, paws at the crochet hook, reaches up to give little kisses. Then she gets sleeepy and nods off, completely happy and usually in some position that makes further work next to impossible. As Keryn said, there'll come a time when she's too big to fit on anyone's lap, so we might as well make the most of it while she's little.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Keryn and I went to Adelaide this week and so there hasn't been as much achieved on the sewing front. I did manage to finish this donation top, a Chinese Coins that might be suitable for a boy. The strips were all made from 5"cut-offs from a fabric store, and the blue setting fabric is a backing fabric that we have a bolt of. These lengths were the left-overs from trimming another donation quilt, so it's a very frugal top.

It IS square but a breeze blew it askew and I couldn't be bothered taking another photo.
Lots of strange ugly fabric here, but it will keep someone warm.

And here is Matthew's art photo....."Tomato With Pup"......


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

This is a top donated to the bushfire cause by our friend Sue, being quilted ready to join the stack to send. It's a scrappy star, and I've had fun looking at all the fabrics as I worked on it. I do love Scrappy!

The pattern is quite simple and was made from 4 1/2" by 2 1/2" strips, I might have to try one of these myself.

And this was going to be the back of it, but why not make two quilts to send? We have it on the machine now, and Sue can make two people happy with her generosity. This was made from 5" squares from a fabric club, cut in quarters and sewn into four patches, then joined into a postage stamp. Wow, there's a lot of different fabrics here, and I love looking at all of them.

And here's my photo of an old project; scrappy baskets that have been waiting far too long. Doing all these bushfire quilts has made me enthused about getting things finished, so these old UFO's might see the light of day soon. Or I might just cut out something new- who can tell?


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

I might have been pretty quiet lately, but I assure you I'm still busy sewing. But the demise of the camera means I've had to go back to an ancient digital one that takes forever to focus, drains the batteries and goes to sleep at inopportune moments. I hate not having a reliable camera anymore!

And because I don't want to post without photos I've been putting off blogging too. I'll just have to dig up old pictures from my files to give you something to look at, hmphh.

At our lessons yesterday our friend Sonia finished the main part of her top and is now ready for the borders, yay! She has a million ideas for her next quilt(s) so we'll be doing lots of cutting at the next session. This was an Annie Downes pattern and there are some beautiful stitcheries here that you can't see because of my geriatric camera, grr.
A lot of work went into this, but it's turned out lovely, except that the colours are very washed out because of.....geriatric camera

Last year I tried to take a photo, however rough, of all my projects so I could have a visual record of them. I don't know the actual number, but trust me, it's three digits...

So while photo fare is scarce, I'll show a few of my Ufo's, just to have something to look at. And then when I finish them you'll know what I'm talking about Ha!

These string blocks are very old, made when Matt was about two years old. (He's 21 now...) The diamonds are pieced from dressmaking scraps from our teen years- Keryn will remember each and every one of them. Dancing dresses, sundresses, some scaps from Mum's shifts and blouses. They are set with different pastel backgrounds and I think there's only twelve, so they wouldn't take much to finish. Just not yet.

And this is a Mariners Compass that I've started, this one's only about five years old. I have in mind some red and green applique to set in alternate squares and an elaborate border. Yep, I'm quite clear about that, but this block is the only finished one, although I've prepared a lot of the rest. Won't take me that long once I decide to finish it.

I'm trying to get the bushfire quilts finished, and I have three more tops to photograph and at least three more nearly done. My floor is awash with threads and offcuts, so I must be getting through the pile of donated scraps, surely. I'm looking forward to sewing to my own projects again, I've missed them.

Matt has taken up Art Photography, and here is his Still Life With Pup and Flowers.


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